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Concerned about attention wandering during prayers

Question:
Whenever I pray, at times I feel that my focus is not on my prayers but my thought is wandering everywhere else. I try to refocus and then it shifts again. Is there something wrong in the way I pray or is this normal? It really bothers me.

Response:
Although wavering concentration in prayers is a common complaint, if it continues for long, it should be a cause for concern. One or two good prayers out of the five in a day is, generally speaking, not a bad average, although one should strive to make it five good prayers out of five.

In order to make your prayers more focused, you should try the following things: i)Try to imagine that your prayer is going to be the last one in your life. ii) Try to understand and concentrate on the meanings of what you are saying. iii) Apart from Fatiha, Qur'anic passages, Allahu Akbar, Sami'Allahu Liman Hamidahu, and Assalamo Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah, try to sometimes use expressions of dhikr and dua (prayers) in your language as well. Saying sorry to God and asking for His help in Sujud in one's own language is particularly effective. iv) Last but not the least, as the hadith says, pray as if you are looking at God, for even if you can't see Him, imagine that He can see you (and, as a result of it, you will get a spiritual feeling that you were seeing Him).

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